The Roads Authority (RA) board last week met Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob in a bid to convince Government to give them a financial bailout to improve their operations.
Their manoeuvres come at a time when there are reports the company being in of a financial deficit. The poor state of Affairs has left the company in a rather precarious position in terms of executing and set backs on road projects.
The board led by chairperson, Hileni Kaifanua, visited Geingob’s office on Thursday where they presented their project plans for 2015 and updated the OPM on the activities of the RA and their challenges.
“We are here to discuss the mandate for roads authority, and what we plan do to do in the next five years. We will also touch on the Kalimbesa project. In 2015, we want to construct a dual-road in Walvisbay behind the dunes and Hosea Kutako International Airport” Kaifanua said.
However the company has not publicly declared how much they are looking for from the Government.
She added that the team anticipated that a dual carriage along Swakopmund and Walvisbay will become a street because of the growth of the town. “We are planning to construct a dual carriage behind the dunes.
Geingob, however, questioned whether the RA will be able to sustain the projects financially since the current projects are already experiencing fund deficits. He encouraged that the board only goes through with projects if funds are available.
“We have inadequate funding for road maintenance and rehabilitation which is causing a backlog. We ask that you balance the expansion of money aimed for construction and maintenance and as it is not adequate. That money is taken from road charges that are not enough,” Kaifanua told Hage.
The meeting was also attended by Minister of Works and Transport, Erkki Nghimtina, who told the Prime Minister that he is proud of the roads in Namibia.
Namibia currently has 45, 387km of roads across the country. 6, 387 km is bitumen, 24, 744 km is gravel, 9, 005 km is earth graded, 241km is earth sandsp, 3, 489 km is earth track , while 272 km of roads is salt and the remain is proclaimed.
Last week The Villager reported that Road Authority needs N$2b to rehabilitate Namibian roads of which over 50% is dust and only a little over 6000 km is Bitumen.
These funds are essential because RA has a two-year deadline to build a transport and logistics hub which will be open to SADC. The board cannot achieve its Transport Master Plan by operating on funds from road charges.
RA is also one of the companies that is expected to drive the country’s proposed transport master plan. Namibia is setting sights on creating a robust transport and logistics network to cater for the demand that will be created by the Namibia Ports Authority expansion.